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Procedure : 2019/2824(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0035/2020

Texts tabled :

B9-0035/2020

Debates :

PV 15/01/2020 - 19
CRE 15/01/2020 - 19

Votes :

PV 16/01/2020 - 6.5
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2020)0015

Texts adopted
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Thursday, 16 January 2020 - Strasbourg Final edition
COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Kunming 2020)
P9_TA(2020)0015B9-0035/2020

European Parliament resolution of 16 January 2020 on the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (2019/2824(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the mid-term review of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy and its resolution of 2 February 2016 on the mid-term review of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2017 on an Action Plan for nature, people and the economy(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2018 on the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP14)(3),

–  having regard to the Commission report of 20 May 2015 entitled ‘The State of Nature in the European Union: Report on the status of and trends for habitat types and species covered by the Birds and Habitats Directives for the 2007-2012 period as required under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive and Article 12 of the Birds Directive’ (COM(2015)0219),

–  having regard to Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy(4) (Marine Strategy Framework Directive),

–  having regard to Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy(5) (Water Framework Directive),

–  having regard to the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services report of 31 May 2019,

–  having regard to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species,

–  having regard to the Metz Charter on Biodiversity of 6 May 2019,

–  having regard to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to the Commission Reflection Paper of 30 January 2019 entitled ‘Towards A Sustainable Europe by 2030’(COM(2019)0022),

–  having regard to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special reports on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems, and to its special report of 25 September 2019 on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, and to the special IPCC report entitled ‘Global Warming of 1,5 °C’, its fifth assessment report (AR5) and its synthesis report of September 2018,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 23 July 2019 entitled ‘Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests’ (COM(2019)0352) and the Commission communication of 20 September 2013 entitled ‘a new EU Forest Strategy: for forests and the forest-based sector’ (COM(2013)0659),

–  having regard to the 2019 report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation 2019 entitled ‘The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture’,

–  having regard to the statement of 15 October 2019 made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly in New York,

–  having regard to the Beijing Call for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change of 6 November 2019,

–  having regard to the European Environment Agency report of 4 December 2019 entitled ‘The European environment - state and outlook 2020’ (SOER 2020);

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–  having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the questions to the Commission and to the Council on the COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity, – to be held in Kunming, China, in 2020 (O-000044/2019 and O-000043/2019),

A.  whereas the mission statement of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity is to ‘take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of biodiversity in order to ensure that by 2020 ecosystems are resilient and continue to provide essential services, thereby securing and conserving the planet’s variety of life, and contributing to human well-being, and poverty eradication’;

B.  whereas the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity (‘2050 Vision’) adopted under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is ‘living in harmony with nature’ and that ‘by 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people’, and for our future generations;

C.  whereas the 2050 Vision adopted under the CBD is supported by five overall goals that also frame the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets: (a) address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society; (b) reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use; (c) improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity; (d) enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services; and (e) enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity-building;

D.  whereas as highlighted in the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, current negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems will undermine progress towards 80 % of the assessed SDG targets related to poverty, hunger, health, water, cities, climate, oceans and land; whereas indigenous people and many of the world’s poorest communities are projected to be primarily and more severely affected; whereas loss and degradation of biodiversity must therefore be considered not only as environmental issues but also as developmental, economic, social and moral ones;

E.  whereas the massive use of broad-spectrum systemic herbicides such as glyphosate is directly responsible for massive loss of biodiversity;

F.  whereas according to the IPCC and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, no lasting solutions exist to address climate change without a greater implementation of consistent and effective nature-based solutions;

G.  whereas climate change is recognised as the driving force behind the surge in extreme weather events causing natural disasters worldwide, including wildfires;

H.  whereas the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) provides a transparent legal framework for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge;

I.  whereas the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy aims to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU and help stop global biodiversity loss by 2020;

J.  whereas the EU and the Member States have adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its seventeen SDGs and are fully committed to their implementation;

K.  whereas in its political guidelines, the 2019-2024 Commission outlines that its ambition is for the EU to work with its global partners to curtail biodiversity loss within the next five years;

L.  whereas forests are indispensable to worldwide subsistence, and while they only cover 30 % of the Earth’s land area, they host 80 % of its biodiversity;

M.  whereas habitats and species are threatened by climate change, as evidenced by the death of most of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and extreme weather events such as the Great Australian Bushfire, which has killed more than one billion animals; whereas nature conservation and halting biodiversity loss are crucial to the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change;

N.  whereas four out of nine planetary boundaries, as defined by the Stockholm Resilience Centre, have been crossed;

General remarks

1.  Notes with concern that the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services report clearly underlines the magnitude of the ecological crisis and the need for urgent and concerted efforts fostering transformative change, since nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, the rate of species extinctions is accelerating and around one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction, which have grave impacts on people around the world and will affect the life of our future generations;

2.  Expresses its deep concern over the additional stresses on biodiversity caused by climate change on land as laid out in the IPCC special report of 8 August 2019; expresses its deep concern over the decline of marine mammals and other fish stocks and the dramatic disappearance of coral reefs, as documented in the IPCC special report of 24 September 2019, of which more than 99 % are projected to decline in a 2° C scenario according to the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1,5 °C;

3.  Expresses its deep concern following the publication of the IPCC report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate, which recognises climate change as one of the main direct drivers of biodiversity loss and underlines that its negative effects on nature and biodiversity, ecosystem services, oceans and food security are projected to become increasingly significant in the decades to come; underlines the IPCC’s warning that the health of the ocean and marine ecosystems are currently affected by global warming, pollution, overexploitation of marine biodiversity, rising sea levels, acidification, deoxygenation, marine heat waves, unprecedented glaciers and sea ice melting, coastal erosion, and more frequent natural disasters, which are affecting marine and coastal ecosystems by altering their functioning and accelerating the decline of marine mammals and fisheries, as well as leading to the dramatic disappearance of coral reefs and mangroves; recalls that the ocean is part of the solution to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change; calls, therefore, for the EU to make the ocean one of its priorities in its Biodiversity Strategy, and calls on all Parties to the CBD (‘Parties’) to recognise the ocean as a common good of humanity in order to develop a new approach that places individual and collective responsibilities well above the traditional principles of freedom and ownership of the ocean in order to ensure its preservation;

4.  Considers that we are facing an environmental emergency, which requires significant action at EU level and globally; calls on the Commission to make nature protection and restoration a top priority in the European Green Deal alongside climate change;

5.  Expresses its concern that the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets will not be met with the current trajectory of biodiversity loss, and reiterates its calls on all Parties to urgently step up their efforts; regrets that the EU is not on track to achieve its headline target of halting biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation by 2020; urges the Commission and the Member States to commit to immediate, substantial and additional mandatory efforts on biodiversity conservation and restoration so as to meet the global and EU targets and contribute to meeting the Aichi targets;

6.  Recalls that biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, including the oceans, which absorb more than 25 % of CO2 emissions and are the main supplier of oxygen, are key to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement and strengthening the EU’s resilience and adaptive capacities to climate change; notes with regret that only 7 % of oceans are formally protected; recalls the importance of developing and implementing nature-based solutions for preserving biodiversity while mitigating and adapting to climate change, especially for carbon absorption; asks, therefore, for improved consistency and synergy between the three Rio Conventions(6) and for them to be better aligned with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; calls on the Commission to ensure the full integration of biodiversity into its climate policies;

7.  Welcomes the Beijing Call for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change of 6 November 2019;

8.  Stresses that trade-offs between protecting the climate and protecting biodiversity should always be avoided, in particular in the bio-economy sector, which can play a central role in the transition towards a climate-neutral economy provided it does not threaten the quality of ecosystems; expresses its concern that such trade-offs have not been sufficiently addressed in recent policy discussions; calls on the Commission and all stakeholders to develop a cohesive approach in order to build a truly sustainable bioeconomy based on nature conservation and other ecosystem-based solutions, as such an approach gives the best results for both climate and biodiversity;

9.  Stresses that biodiversity is not only indispensable for the production of food, fuel and medicines but, together with a healthy natural environment, is also important for long-term economic development;

10.  Welcomes the commitments made by Ursula von der Leyen in the 2019-2024 Commission’s political guidelines and in her mission letter of 10 September 2019 to the Commissioner for Environment and Oceans, to present, within the new Commission’s first 100 days of office, an ambitious Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 as part of the European Green Deal, and her intention for the EU to lead the world at the 2020 Conference of the Parties to the CBD, as it did at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference; insists that this be a high priority for the new Commission and that the EU galvanise global ambition on biodiversity ahead of the COP15; calls on the Commission, in view of the global biodiversity crisis highlighted by the recent IPBES report, to apply a new approach and to move away from voluntary commitments and to propose an ambitious and inclusive Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 that sets legally binding targets for the EU and its Member States, including specific targets to reach at least 30 % of protected terrestrial and marine areas and to restore at least 30 % of degraded ecosystems at Union level by 2030;

11.  Considers that in this new strategy, special attention should be paid to the restoration of ecosystems, habitats and species, notably through research and innovation, to foster the deployment of nature-based economies in all sectors, which are key in order to reach biodiversity targets;

12.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to call for the COP15 to adopt provisions on horizon scanning, technology assessment and the monitoring of new technological developments, including those emerging from synthetic biology;

13.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to call for a global moratorium at the COP15 on releases of gene drive organisms into nature, including field trials, in order to prevent these new technologies from being released prematurely and to uphold the precautionary principle, which is enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union as well as the CBD;

14.  Stresses that the protection and conservation of global biodiversity is an essential challenge and that it is a matter of strategic EU interest that should receive the highest political attention; calls on the Commission and the Member States to actively engage with third counties – in particular through their external action instruments, such as the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) – in order to promote and set targets for biodiversity protection, conservation and restoration measures and governance, especially when it comes to multilateral and trade agreements and measures against non-compliance; Calls, therefore, on the Commission to include binding and enforceable trade and sustainable development chapters in all future trade agreements;

15.  Recalls its own position regarding the fact that the NDICI should allocate 45 % of its funds to investments that contribute to climate objectives, environmental management and protection, biodiversity, and the combat against desertification;

16.  Stresses the need for a comprehensive multi-level governance approach that addresses the protection, conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services; calls for the EU and the Member States to remain strongly committed to further strengthening the CBD, to take a leading role in preparing for the post-2020 framework, in particular in the run up to the COP15, to commit to a biodiversity equivalent of the 1,5º C target of the Paris Climate Agreement, and to set out their visions and priorities transparently for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework;

17.  Recalls that biodiversity and ecosystem preservation is inherently synergistic and fundamental to the achievement of the SDGs; stresses the need and calls on the Commission and the Member States to implement effective nature and biodiversity mainstreaming with biodiversity targets across all sectors, to change the economic model towards more sustainability addressing the EU footprint, and improved environmental policy coherence in all internal and external policies of the EU, including in agriculture, fishing, renewable energy, transport, trade and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021 - 2027; considers that increased collaboration across all sectors is needed to better integrate biodiversity protection, conservation and restoration; stresses that special attention should be paid to the lifecycle of goods from conception to consumption, to protect natural resources and biodiversity, and to take into account the cumulated impacts including transport;

18.  Believes it to be critical to address key drivers of biodiversity loss with a long-term strategic approach and to urgently identify and safeguard the most critical and strategic biodiversity and ecosystem services hotspots and high-integrity ecosystems based on the sensitivity of an area, the presence of endangered species, knowledge gaps and/or effective management, and the presence of common species that are fundamental to ecological processes, and to limit losses of biodiversity and negative impacts on indigenous and local communities’ territories and livelihoods;

19.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to push for the COP15 to ensure that free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples and local communities is sought and obtained prior to the release of any technologies which may impact on their traditional knowledge, innovation, practices, livelihoods and use of land, resources and water; stresses that this must be done in a participatory manner involving all potentially affected communities prior to any deployment;

20.  Reiterates that despite the importance of restoration, it is something that remains virtually ignored by the Member States in the context of the Bonn Challenge;

21.  Stresses that the climate emergency and the consequences of mass biodiversity loss constitute a grave threat to human rights; recalls that fundamental human rights to life, health, food and safe water are at risk without a healthy environment; calls on the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to work towards an EU strategy to protect the right to a healthy environment, by working closely with third countries and international organisations such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which has recently launched a joint strategy with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP);

Implementation of the Convention and the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity

22.  Welcomes the decision taken at the COP14 in Egypt, which urges Parties to, inter alia, significantly accelerate their efforts to implement the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and to consider undertaking national assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services; considers it to be of the utmost importance to step up efforts when it comes to implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, to focus on the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Nagoya Protocol on ABS, and to work on an ambitious post-2020 strategic plan and implementation mechanism that formally includes local and regional authorities, and with regard to a 2050 scenario, to take into account new challenges in the field of biodiversity in line with the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals;

23.  Notes with concern that in the EU, according to assessments(7) on the conservation status of species and habitat types of conservation interest, only 7 % of marine species and 9 % of marine habitat types show a ‘favourable conservation status’ and that 27 % of species assessments and 66 % of habitat types assessments show an ‘unfavourable conservation status’; stresses, furthermore, that according to the same assessments, 48 % of marine animal and plant species with known population trends have been steadily declining over the last decade, therefore increasing the risk of monitored species becoming extinct;

Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

24.  Welcomes the progress made at COP14 on a comprehensive and participatory process to develop a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework; supports the Metz Charter on Biodiversity adopted by the G7;

25.  Underlines the need to increase ambition, inclusiveness and functioning for the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework; calls on the Commission and the Member States to strengthen the implementation mechanisms of the CBD and to actively pursue the development of ambitious legally binding targets, detailed timelines, clear performance indicators, tracking instruments and peer review/reporting mechanisms based on common standards – ideally in cooperation with sub-national governments – to ensure full transparency and accountability for the Parties and the overall effectiveness of the next Global Biodiversity Strategy plan;

26.  Highlights the fact that an international framework in the form of a global legally binding agreement is needed to protect global biodiversity, to stop its current decline and to restore all aspects of biodiversity; believes that such a framework must be based on specific, measurable, quantifiable, ambitious, realistic, sectorial and time-bound targets and firm commitments, comprising of reinforced National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans and other appropriate instruments such as sub-national action plans, financial commitments and improved capacity building assurances, as well as a five-yearly monitoring and review mechanism, with an emphasis on an upward trajectory of ambition; highlights the need for regular reporting by the Parties and a harmonised collection and treatment of comparable and consistent data and indicators for a good monitoring process;

27.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to call for the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to enshrine, as key pillars, the precautionary principle, a rights-based approach and horizon scanning, technology assessment and monitoring with regard to the adoption of new technologies;

28.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote the definition of a new global goal to reverse the global biodiversity loss curve by 2030, to put nature on the path to regeneration for the benefit of all, and to contribute to the protection of biodiversity, the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, the fight against desertification and land degradation and food security; calls for the EU to push for an increased level of ambition during the negotiations and potentially call for protecting half of the planet by 2050; is of the opinion that a clear global conservation objective for 2030 of at least 30 % of natural areas and the objective of restoring at least 30 % of degraded ecosystems that can be restored should be enshrined in the post-2020 framework, and that the EU should set similar objectives domestically;

29.  Underlines that international efforts and agreements will only be met if all stakeholders are actively involved; calls for the creation of a coalition of stakeholders, both from the private and public sectors, to deliver the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework; points out the usefulness of the ‘Agenda of Solutions’ developed under the Paris Agreement in developing a positive agenda for all stakeholders relevant to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and calls for similar actions to be included in the post-2020 framework;

30.  Highlights the importance of minimising time lags that may arise between the adoption of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and its translation into national biodiversity targets and sub-national action plans to avoid delays in taking concrete actions to stem biodiversity loss;

EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030

31.  Urges the Commission to design a strategy that will address the main drivers of biodiversity loss, both domestically and worldwide;

32.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure the consistency of the Farm to Fork strategy and the zero pollution ambition with the common agricultural policy post 2020, particularly with a view to reducing the use of pesticides;

33.  Calls on the Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to include biodiversity-proofing components in their financial instruments in order to avoid adverse effects on biodiversity; invites the EIB to update its environmental and social standards in line with the provisions of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030;

34.  Calls for an EU-wide legally binding target to restore degraded habitats by 2030, through the restoration of natural forests, peatlands, floodplains, wetlands, biodiversity-rich grasslands, coastal zones and marine areas; regrets that the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 failed to deliver on the target to restore 15 % of degraded ecosystems;

35.  Urges the Commission and the EIB to include biodiversity proofing in its external action, particularly in its external financial instrument, in order to ensure that no EU funds or financing scheme contribute to net biodiversity loss;

36.  Is of the opinion that the EU’s global ambition will have to be consistent with its domestic actions in the framework of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030;

37.  Invites the Commission to include the reduction of the EU’s global footprint as an important focus of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 in order to avoid inconsistency between its domestic and international actions;

Economic considerations and financing

38.  Welcomes the agreement reached at COP14 by 196 governments to scale up investments in nature and people towards 2020 and beyond; underlines that economic growth can facilitate sustainable development only if it is decoupled entirely from the degradation of biodiversity and nature’s capacity to contribute to people’s well-being;

39.  Highlights the necessity of appropriate and sufficient financing for biodiversity; calls for biodiversity improvement and climate proofing measures to be included in the next MFF and biodiversity mainstreaming to be increased across policy areas so as to make significant and positive progress towards the 2050 Vision; calls on the Commission and the Council to set a clear spending target for biodiversity mainstreaming of at least 10 % in the MFF, in addition to the target for spending on climate mainstreaming; Emphasises, furthermore, the need to establish a more transparent, comprehensive and stringent methodology for the tracking of biodiversity and climate expenditure; reiterates its calls to at least double the current level of funding for the LIFE programme; calls, moreover, for the phase-out of harmful subsidies, and for coherence between all EU funds and programmes to be ensured so that no expenditure under the EU budget can contribute to biodiversity loss;

40.  Stresses that biodiversity mainstreaming needs to be accompanied by data collection; notes with concern that basic research, including taxonomy, which is crucial for this purpose, is significantly under-resourced and does not receive a sufficient level of policy and research funding; calls for adequate funding for basic research projects and capacity building to be allocated under Horizon Europe and for the technical assistance axis of other EU funds to be used for this purpose;

41.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote the establishment of additional international financial mechanisms for biodiversity protection and conservation linked to the CBD while doing their utmost to mainstream biodiversity into existing funds; notes that economic activities can be important drivers of global biodiversity decline and the loss of natural capital; calls, therefore, on businesses and financial organisations to make and share strong commitments and contributions to biodiversity, including by biodiversity-proofing their activities, and highlights the importance of leveraging private financing initiatives in this regard; regrets the inconsistency of data sets on finance flows for biodiversity that come from domestic and international public and private sources, which puts tracking and reporting systems at risk and negatively affects any potential reform; calls, therefore, on the Commission, the Member States and the EIB to develop coherent standards on data sets on finance flows for biodiversity; stresses that the future plan on sustainable finance will have to help financial market participants understand biodiversity-loss-related risks by including biodiversity in financial disclosure requirements;

42.  Stresses the importance of increasing investment, including in nature-based solutions and corresponding initiatives, that result in co-benefits for biodiversity and climate action, which in turn will reduce the impact of climate change on biodiversity, while at the same time phasing out environmentally harmful investments; recalls that the majority of the investments made in the framework of the Paris Agreement have to be used for preserving and restoring biodiversity; regrets that despite the potential of natural climate solutions, land-based sequestration efforts receive only about 2,5 % of the global climate mitigation budget; calls for an increased use of EU and international climate funding to protect and restore natural ecosystems as a way of achieving shared benefits between biodiversity and climate mitigation and adaptation;

43.  Welcomes the decision of the EIB Group to align all its financing activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement and to deliver at least 50 % of EIB finance for climate action; calls on the EIB to continue expanding biodiversity protection and conservation measures within its financial envelope; calls on the Commission to engage with Member States and the financial sector to align their activities with the Paris Agreement and to ensure climate and biodiversity proofing of transactions and investments at EU level and beyond;

44.  Points out that international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UNEP and the OECD agree that environmental taxation is an essential tool for addressing environmental challenges such as biodiversity loss; welcomes initiatives such as the Green Fiscal Policy Network of the UNEP and the IMF, which facilitate knowledge sharing and dialogue on green fiscal reform; draws attention to Aichi target three and the need for positive incentives to conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity, as well as to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 and the need to mobilise and significantly increase financial resources from all sources in order to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems; highlights, therefore, the potential of fair environmental taxation, which is in line with the polluter pays principle, as a way to reduce damage to the environment and generate financial resources for the protection of nature; calls on the EU and its Member States to reorient taxation systems towards an increased use of environmental taxation;

45.  Notes with concern that only 8,3 % of total financial commitments are related to reversing the decline in biodiversity, which is the lowest ratio since 2015, despite the unprecedented and accelerating species extinction rate; calls on the Commission to increase the allocation of resources to ensure the long-term and coherent protection of biodiversity across the EU; insists that the next MFF should rely on a robust methodology for tracking biodiversity and avoiding the risk of overestimating action towards biodiversity;

Forestry, agriculture, fisheries and soils

46.  Underlines that agricultural and fisheries activities, healthy soils, and the preservation of biodiversity are closely linked; Notes the negative impacts of unsustainable agriculture, forestry and fishing on biodiversity; emphasises, however, that sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries can reduce the negative effects on species, habitats and ecosystems and the effects of climate change;

47.  Calls therefore on the EU and the Parties to make strong commitments towards sustainable food systems, agriculture, forestry and fishing, including requirements and strategies for the sustainable use of plant protection products and nutrients, a reduction in the use of pesticides, and the protection of soils, habitats and species providing key ecosystem services, such as pollination, and increased selectivity to reduce the cumulated impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems and to contribute to fish stock recovery in sensitive and overfished areas; calls on the Commission to include EU-wide binding reduction targets in the upcoming revision of the EU Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides (2009/128/EC) and on the Commission, the Member States and regional governments to direct support for agriculture, forestry and fishing to sustainable practices and eco-schemes;

48.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to financially support farming and forestry practices that are consistent with biodiversity targets, such as integrated pest and nutrient management, organic agriculture, agro-ecological practices, soil and water conservation practices, conservation agriculture, agroforestry, silvopastoral systems, irrigation management, small or patch systems, and practices to improve animal welfare;

49.  Recalls that according to the Commission communication entitled ‘Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests’, forests are indispensable for our Planet’s life-support systems, covering 30 % of the Earth’s land area and hosting 80 % of its biodiversity; stresses that deforestation is a major cause of biodiversity decline and that land use, land use change and forestry emissions linked to deforestation are a significant cause of climate change; expresses its concern about the impact of EU consumption on deforestation, as the EU is the final consumer of 10 % of the products associated with deforestation; calls on the Commission to adopt a single unified definition for the term ‘deforestation-free’;

50.  Calls on the Commission to propose a comprehensive set of measures to reduce the EU's consumption footprint on land (including legislation) based on due diligence that ensures sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains for products placed on the EU market, as well as an EU action plan on palm oil; is of the opinion that EU action against deforestation should tackle its main drivers, such as palm oil, soy, beef and cocoa; asks the Commission to phase out, as soon as possible, biofuels used in the EU that are highly likely to cause indirect land use changes;

51.  Emphasises that forest policies must be consistent, must combat biodiversity loss and climate-change impacts equally, and must increase the EU’s natural sinks while protecting, conserving and enhancing biodiversity;

52.  Stresses that no substitution effect of forest-based products can compensate for the loss of old-growth and primary forests, which are recognised as irreplaceable(8) and should be protected through legal and incentivising instruments targeting their complexity, connectivity and representativeness;

53.  Points out that, according to the World Population Prospects of June 2019, the world’s population is expected to increase by 2 billion persons over the next 30 years, increasing the impacts of land and sea use on biodiversity and carbon sequestration; notes that increasing biodiversity loss puts food security and nutrition at risk; calls on the Parties to promote the sustainable use of biodiversity in programmes contributing to food security and improved nutrition while contributing to achieving the SDG goals, with special attention to SDG 2 (zero hunger);

Urban areas

54.  Notes that pollution, urban expansion, soil sealing and the destruction of habitats are other major causes of biodiversity destruction; recall that the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services shows that the surface of urban areas has doubled since 1992 and that two out of three EU citizens live in urban areas; calls for a better assessment of the role of urban areas and cities in the preservation of biodiversity and the increased involvement of cities and local authorities in the definition of policies for the protection and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as in monitoring, reporting and verification;

55.  Insists that the potential of cities to help protect biodiversity and ecosystem services is underestimated; recalls that enhancing benefits from biodiversity, ecosystem services and urban green infrastructure in cities and peri-urban areas improves human health; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote the incorporation and further integration of biodiversity and ecosystem functions in urban design, policy and planning while reducing carbon emissions and enhancing adaptation to climate change;

56.  Notes that urban areas can play a transformative role within the EU in terms of biodiversity; stresses that plastic and water pollution are important drivers of biodiversity loss; believes that a strong circular economy, in the context of the new Circular Economy Action Plan, could be instrumental in the EU’s efforts to restore biodiversity;

57.  Deplores the fact that plastic and pollution from for example water treatment plants, pharmacological products and unsustainable agriculture practices such as the intensive use of nutrients, deeply affects the health of ocean ecosystems;

EU protected areas

58.  Calls for an in-depth analysis of all EU protected areas, including Natura 2000 sites, and for the improvement, better connection and extension of these areas; underlines the need for a standardised method for calculating protected areas and a clear definition of what constitutes a ‘protected area’ in the EU; stresses that in the light of the recent IPCC report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate, a comprehensive assessment and significant increase in EU coastal and marine protected areas and their governance is needed; calls for the extension of EU marine protected areas to include more offshore waters; stresses that besides the quantity, the quality of protected areas is essential to preventing biodiversity loss and that more emphasis therefore needs to be placed on good and sustainable management;

59.  Calls on the Commission to continue to take legal action when it establishes that EU nature protection laws are not being observed; points out that procedures have to be more efficient in the field of environmental infringements due to the risk of irreversible damage to the environment; highlights that it is necessary to urgently ensure the proper enforcement of the nature directives and follow up on complaints about breaches of legislation in a transparent way;

60.  Notes that the nature conservation framework could, subject to weak implementation, potentially create a hostile environment for activists and conservationists and directly or indirectly endanger their lives; underlines that murders of environmental activists and conservationists should be actively condemned by the EU;

61.  Highlights that green infrastructure provides ecosystem services that support biodiversity, for example by increasing the quantity of ecological corridors in urban environments;

Innovation, research and education

62.  Recalls the importance of innovation, research and development in achieving the objectives of the 2050 Vision; underlines the importance of supporting research and participative sciences in order to reinforce knowledge, in particular regarding oceans, most of which has not been explored; calls on the Commission and the Council to increase the budget allocation for Horizon Europe to EUR 120 billion in the next MFF, to benefit in particular the cluster on natural resources, including both basic and applied research, for example in the field of taxonomy, and to launch a mission for the protection and restoration of biodiversity within Horizon Europe; calls on the Parties to focus in particular on the links between biodiversity preservation and benefits to human health and economic well-being, and to coordinate data collection measures;

63.  Calls on the Commission to support further research into the effects of land use and land use change, including deforestation and bioenergy production, on GHG emissions and take the results into account in future policy making;

64.  Notes that, according to the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy adopted on 16 January 2018, the 150 million tonnes of plastic that have accumulated in the world’s oceans could double by 2030, endangering more than 660 species and damaging our environment; calls on the Commission to deliver flagship initiatives against plastic pollution and its effect on biodiversity; underlines the specific case of microplastics, which account for more than 80 % of marine litter items collected, endangering marine biodiversity; welcomes therefore Ursula von der Leyen’s commitment to open a new front in our fight against plastic waste by tackling microplastics; stresses the need for a circular economy approach that puts an emphasis on research and innovation for sustainable products;

65.  Stresses the importance of education in raising awareness of biodiversity and environmental protection; notes that educational protected areas are a relevant and efficient tool for raising public awareness and enhancing preservation;

Capacity-building, public awareness and the involvement of all actors

66.  Stresses that capacity building and awareness raising are key to successful implementation and to creating a greater understanding of the importance of biodiversity; welcomes, therefore, the COP14 decision, which invites parties, other governments and donors to provide financial resources for capacity building, technical assistance and technology transfer if they are in a position to do so;

67.  Emphasises the importance of providing comprehensive information and of seeking the closer involvement of civil society and members of the public from different age groups to achieve the EU and global targets;

68.  Calls on the Parties to promote public awareness and the involvement of multiple stakeholders to provide tailor-made solutions in collaboration with local communities and indigenous people in order to foster the sustainable use of land for greater biodiversity so that regional differences in landscapes and habitats are fully respected;

69.  Welcomes the intention to actively pursue a multi-stakeholder approach, which is fundamental to valuing, protecting, preserving, sustainably using and restoring biodiversity and underlines that improved engagement with and between governance levels, sectors and private actors will create opportunities for mainstreaming biodiversity objectives into other policies; believes that it is critical to involve business and financial organisations and, in this regard, welcomes the Commission’s efforts to engage the private sector in the preservation of biodiversity, especially through the EU Business and Biodiversity Platform; in this perspective, welcomes private sector initiatives such as the launch of the One Planet Business for Biodiversity coalition at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York;

70.  Calls on the Commission to consider a harmonised methodology for calculating the ecological footprint of EU companies as well as their impact on biodiversity;

71.  Considers that transformative changes in societies are needed to tackle climate change, the degradation of the environment and the loss of biodiversity; stresses the importance of following the principle of a just transition, ensuring that the process is inclusive and equitable;

72.  Notes that public awareness and access to comprehensive and easily understandable information enable consumers to make informed purchasing choices and promote sustainable consumption and insists, therefore, that they should form part of a comprehensive set of measures, in particular concerning the products that lead to deforestation, ecosystem destruction and human rights violations; calls on the Commission and the Member States to improve the traceability and control of products through their value and supply chains, thereby ensuring full transparency for consumers;

73.  Emphasises the need to better develop eco-labelling and anti-deforestation certification;

74.  Welcomes the 2020 meeting of the International Union for Conservation of Nature meeting in Marseille; invites the Commission to send visible signs of its support regarding its commitments to biodiversity during this forum;

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75.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 2.
(2) OJ C 356, 4.10.2018, p. 38.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0431.
(4) OJ L 164, 25.6.2008, p. 19.
(5) OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1.
(6) The Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
(7) The Regional Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Europe and Central Asia https://ipbes.net/sites/default/files/2018_eca_full_report_book_v5_pages_0.pdf
(8) Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 23 July 2019 on stepping up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests (COM(2019)0352).

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